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Vixen Vent: The Deeper Issues Behind the Death of Miriam Carey

The shooting death of dental hygienist Miriam Carey on Thursday was shocking, tragic and caused all those watching to ask the question, “why?” The 34-year-old ran her car through a White House barricade and then led the police on a high speed chase that resulted in the young woman being gunned down while her 1-year-old daughter was in the backseat. There was a lot more going on here than meets the eye.

Family members of Carey told news outlets that she suffered from psychosis and postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter last August. Reports state that she was fired from her position as a dental hygienist in Connecticut in August of this year and stopped taking her medication prior to her fatal trip to Washington D.C. The question that comes to mind is if this woman was crying out for help? Was life becoming too overwhelming for her in every aspect and therefore she knew that her actions would bring her death?

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This is another case of an African American suffering from mental illness and not receiving the proper medical attention to address the underlying issues she was facing. Yes, she was taking medication, but history has shown us with the untimely deaths of many celebrities, that drugs simply numb the pain, not get rid of it. In the case of Miriam Carey, postpartum depression is a diagnosis not widely addressed. Studies have shown that post partum is more likely in African American women. This diagnosis is often frowned upon by others because a mother admitting that she is not overjoyed about the birth of her child is viewed as cold. The criticism is that a woman who is overtaken by sadness after the birth of her child is not worthy of being a mother.  I am a mother. I can relate to the feeling of being completely overwhelmed and at times sad when you first have a child. The sleepless nights, endless crying, not being able to eat or having the energy to even go out for a walk can have very adverse effects on a new mother. Your life changes literally in a blink of an eye. Some adjust with ease and others go through bouts of depression. When I felt down I got through it by calling other mothers who could relate to how I was feeling and ensuring me that it would pass. I am thankful that it did, but what about those who aren’t so fortunate?  Carey obviously wasn’t in her right mind because she went on her reckless driving spree with her infant daughter in the backseat. She surely was not thinking about what would happen to her little girl. There are tons of cases of women who suffered from postpartum psychosis who either killed their child(ren) or killed both themselves and their child(ren). Simply throwing drugs at people with mental illnesses is not the solution. This is a "solution" society seems to accept with open arms.

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Although Carey’s family knew of her mental instability they were in another state and therefore didn’t witness firsthand just how bad it was. The death of Miriam Carey was devastating and it is a miracle that her baby girl wasn’t harmed in the barrage of gunfire.

This incident sheds lights on two very important issues. The first is the need for a bigger discussion about how to access and deal with post-partum depression. The second is the obsession of officers to handle situations with the “shoot to kill” approach. I thought that this method was supposed to be the last tactic in order to stop an assailant, not the first.

Carey’s actions were indeed a cry for help. It could have been heard if officers shot out her tires instead of ending her life. This way we would be able to really get to the root of the problem instead of having endless speculations.

The Black community must talk more, judge less and stop suffering in silence. If you suffer from postpartum, don’t be ashamed. Speak up, seek help (not just medication) and take the proper steps to be a better parent and overall happier individual.

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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